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2019 WARREN SAMUELS PRIZE
CEB and CERMi are proud to announce that the 2019 Warren Samuels Prize was awarded to the article “Too Many Cooks Spoil the Broth: The Conflicting Impacts of Subsidies and Deposits on the Cost-Efficiency of Microfinance Institutions” authored by Anastasia Cozarenco (Montpellier Business School, France, and CERMi), Valentina Hartarska (Auburn University, USA) and Ariane Szafarz (ULB, SBS-EM, Centre Emile Bernheim, and CERMi, Belgium).
The Warren Samuels Prize is awarded by the Association for Social Economics (ASE) to a paper, presented at the Allied Social Science Associations (ASSA) Meetings, that best exemplifies scholarly work that is of high quality, is important to the project of social economics, and has broad appeal across disciplines.
The rewarded article evaluates how subsidies affect the cost-efficiency of microfinance institutions (MFIs) while accounting for endogenous self-selection into the business models of credit-only versus credit-plus-deposit MFIs. The findings suggest that unsubsidized credit-plus-deposit MFIs have achieved optimal capacity and therefore constitute the most cost-efficient group of institutions. In addition, the unsubsidized credit-only MFIs are the farthest away from their minimum cost. Between the two polar cases, there are subsidized institutions, among which the credit-only ones are closer to optimal capacity. The results reveal the redundancy between subsidization and deposit-taking in microfinance. Combining funds from donors and depositors tends to harm cost-efficiency.